A Tortured Soul……

10 Sep

Throughout history there have been many deaths amongst celebrities whilst at the height of their apparent success.  To the outside observer they had talent, money, fame and adulation; many of the things mere mortals would imagine is everything they could want and yet, they embark on a destructive path which the public find hard to understand.  However, they all have one thing in common which I will discuss later and for every celebrity who meets with such demise, there are thousands of others, not known to the public but who suffer from the same basic insecurities for similar reasons and often lead to their deaths under similar circumstances……

Amongst the well known celebrities who met with an early death is Curt Cobain, who took his own life in 1993 at the

Kurt Cobain

height of Nirvana’s success.  Karen Carpenter, who died of heart failure in 1983 as a result complications arising from Anorexia Nervosa.  Janis Joplin died in 1970 of a drug overdose and, more recently, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Any Winehouse also died as the result of drug overdoses.  Superficially, especially in the cases of drug overdoses, the perception that they were enjoying social drug use and in a position to fund their addictions, is misplaced although true……

Karen Carpenter

In all of these cases those involved had many complex psychological reasons for doubting the information that they were being told by their closest circle of management and record company executives but all of this re-affirmation held little sway with the victims whose own insecurities outweighed the positives……

It is not unusual for artists to envisage themselves as failures.  Either because, as perfectionists, they felt they did not meet the expectations of their adoring fans.  Many also felt that they had little or no control over their own lives and are at the mercy of the media machine which engulfs them and places demands for the individual to produce even better material for public consumption.  This can often lead to more pressure and they turn to the only escapism over which they feel they have some control……

In much the same way and, speaking from personal experience, the more success one achieves the more these insecurities manifest themselves in a way in which the artist feels more insecure and the need to escape.  This escape is often brought about by the use of drugs to block out the perception of the source of them.  This often leads to the downfall of the artist at the ‘height’ of their fame.  The use of mind altering substances or in the case of Karen Carpenter’s anorexia is the expression of some kind of self determination enabling them to exercise control over themselves, disassociated from the media hype and ‘yes’ people who surround them…….

‘Knowledge is power’, or to be more precise ‘Knowledge is power for those able to exercise it’.  Power is of little consequence for somebody who is not in a position to exploit it.  It is, in fact, a barrier to those for whom knowledge simply adds to the feelings of helplessness in the face of the power brought by it.  Not only can one feel unable to exploit positions of power, they can also feel that power only seeks to undermine creative ambition, leading again to the exercising of the only control they feel is within their control; the blotting out of advancement through personal control, whether it takes the form of Obsessive Compulsive behaviour, as in the case of Karen Carpenter or, in the destruction of ones self through self harm, what is effectively what drug addiction is…….

Who’s Next

For myself, drug addiction and the desire to end my life prematurely stems from my own insecurity.  In the early ‘90s my career in music began to take off.  With each new release can raving reviews and the very adulation of the fans as previously discussed.  Through it all I was hiding a dark secret.  I was insecure and did not feel that the credit I received was worthy of my work.  I viewed each project, not in terms of the media praise or that of my colleagues but, rather from an insider’s standpoint, able to hear the shortcomings of my work.  My other collaborators new nothing of my insecurities.  I, like so many others, turned to Opiates and Benzodiazepines to blot out the pain and appear on the surface at least as a promising artist, when all the time I envisaged a point at which I would be surpassed by my superiors.  As if in some kind of insurance, I could fall further into addiction and the inability to create new material, as all those surrounding me will attest to…….

The fact of the matter is that I don’t feel I have anywhere near the required talent to be one of the best, so I chose the road of an achievable objective; to be a ‘junkie’ incapable of working and bounded by thoughts of an early exit from this unfulfilling, unenviable, life.  One in which I am on the borderline between total success and miserable failure……

And so I continue to destroy my life with drugs, which for the all too brief time they have the desired effect of blocking out any vision of the future.  Once they have worn off, the struggle for the next hit to elevate the pain begins all over again, like ‘Groundhog Day’.  As my physical and mental health deteriorates the logical need to end my suffering draws nearer and I have a plan for the final act, one which is guaranteed to work……

I do not want to cause pain to those I leave behind but, I as I have discovered with the recent departure of my dear Farther and Sister, the pain fades…….


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